“Broken but Beautiful” is a weekly column by Faith Gor, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She shares her story and healing journey to offer hope to other survivors.
“You cannot heal in the same environment that broke you.” – Anon
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Joseph recorded in the book of Genesis chapters 37-50. It’s a painful story that has a beautiful ending. Joseph’s mother died when he was still young. His father loved him more than his siblings and this made his brothers despise him to the extent of ganging up against him, mocking him for his extraordinary dreams, stripping him naked, abusing him verbally, physically, planning to murder him and eventually selling him as a slave.
I believe that Joseph being sold as a slave was providence. This is because he was now separated from his abusers. This separation made him begin having a personal relationship with GOD and the Bible records that, “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man” Genesis 39:2. You see, no victim can prosper in the hands of an abuser. This is because abuse weakens the victim, it controls them and robs them off their voice. Again, GOD separated Joseph from Potiphar’s wife after she offended him sexually and he had his healing season in the prison.
The most confusing part is that most abusers are people close to the victim and many times the victim feels devalued. They live in constant fear, believing that they deserved the violation and try to please the offender to avoid being violated. This leads them to protect the offender by keeping silent, which keeps the abuse going. This is part of the reason why many people will never understand why the victim ‘didn’t leave the abuser’ or ‘why they never spoke up early’.
When my Bible teacher molested me sexually, I feared going to church because he threatened me after I stopped going to his lesson class. I never wanted to see him. I also feared being in a room with any male church leader. I would get horrified every morning when we would prepare to go to church. My stomach would ache to the point that I
would skip breakfast.
This messed up my church days because, who wants to go to a haunted church at 12 years old? I became timid and would dodge the children’s activities. I thank GOD that the teacher got a work transfer and he moved from our church. This separation helped me heal to some extent for that season.
Though GOD allows separation, He never calls it good. This is because we were created to connect with each other. But when we get wounded in the connections, He uses the separation process to redeem us back to Him, and when that is done, then He calls it good.
During creation, GOD had to separate the waters to created dry land and it is the only day where ‘good’ is not mentioned. (I hope to make it to heaven and ask GOD what He felt about that day.) However, when He was done creating everything, He saw that all that He had made was very good.
So, this means, separation from your offender may hurt but it will not harm you. Separation will cause you to cling to GOD; now that, plus therapy, self-care, and psychosocial support will do good to heal you and cause you to thrive in life like Joseph. You will find courage to view yourself for who you are and not with the victim’s lenses. You will be able to dream again and live a victorious life. Joseph became a governor in the foreign land where he was sold as a slave, and when his brothers came over, he was able to serve them well even though he had some flashbacks. This happened because GOD healed him.
GOD has some special work for you. He has placed that calling in you and since the enemy knows this, he will cripple you with fear so that you don’t leave the abusive environment that you are in. The enemy has made you believe that you can’t live without that person, but that’s a lie.
GOD is the giver of life, and He sustains us by the power of His word. Each one of us exists because of GOD’s grace and He will take care of you. Seek help today. Talk to a counselor, take small steps in caring for yourself and soon you’ll find your voice again.
GOD used the evil done to Joseph to bring good that even saved his brothers who once offended him. The world longs to see GOD’s glory in your life. Will you choose to separate yourself from the lies of the devil today? Remember we cannot find healing in the same environment that broke us.
Find help today.